Vikings-Saints Thursday night pick

The Goal-Line Stand continues to attempt to pick the winners of professional football games. I won’t give up until I reach Brandon Lang levels. For the sake of full disclosure, here’s how I’ve done over the last three years:

2009 season: 175-81 (122-101-33 against the spread)
2008 season: 161-94-1 (114-112-30 against the spread)
2007 season: 174-82 (118-105-33 against the spread)

Last year was easily my best season yet, so hopefully both of my regular readers will stick around for another season of picks. The odds are good that, based on the above results, you’ll split even in your office pool … for the fourth consecutive season.

I’m starting 2010 with a bit of a brazen pick — I’m taking the New Orleans Saints to hammer the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s been a tough few weeks for the Vikes. Brett Favre’s ankle is still very much under the microscope, which is particularly scary considering the beating No. 4 took from Gregg Williams’ defence in last year’s NFC championship game. Making matters worse, Favre is already without top receiver Sidney Rice and hasn’t had a lot of time to work with Percy Harvin.

The Saints, on the other hand, are relatively healthy as they get set to raise the Super Bowl banner for what will be a jacked crowd at the Superdome. Drew Brees, who was stellar in last year’s playoff meeting, goes up against a thin Vikings secondary that will likely be without two of its top three cornerbacks.

And then there’s this…

2009: Super Bowl champ Steelers beat Titans, 13-10
2008: Super Bowl champ Giants beat Redskins, 16-7
2007: Super Bowl champ Colts beat Saints, 41-10
2006: Super Bowl champ Steelers beat Dolphins, 28-17
2005: Super Bowl champ Patriots beat Raiders, 30-20
2004: Super Bowl champ Patriots beat Colts, 27-24

Playing the defending champs in their house on opening night = kiss of death.

Saints 41, Vikings 17